Power Showers and Pump specialists - what you need to know
Power showers are a great relaxation feature for your bathroom, and are surprisingly efficient too. They’re also flexible – so you can install a new unit in an existing shower enclosure or simply over your bath.
Besides the indulgent pulsating effect, power showers have a number of benefits – including greater control over pressure and temperature, improved reliability, and (from some particularly economic models) reduced water consumption. And here’s some more good news – they’re also fairly straightforward to install. That means minimal mess and fuss for you (and the professional you choose to work with).
How you install your power shower will depend on what type of unit you’ve selected. “Power showers” by definition all use a motorised pump. But your shower can be water-based (running directly off the mains supply, assisted by a pump), an electric system or a mixed system. To find the right system for your central heating setup, it’s usually best to consult a qualified plumber or bathroom installation specialist.
When you’ve found the right power shower, installation is straightforward – for a professional who knows what they’re doing, at least. The process involves turning the electricity and water off, positioning and fixing the shower unit, and connecting the electrical components to the mains power (typically you’ll need to create a new circuit for building regulation compliance). After reattaching the shower to the water supply, you’ll then be ready to power up and sample your new bathroom bliss.
Cost of power shower installation
With any job that involves leaking water and/or electricity, it’s best to seek the help of a qualified and experienced professional.
The price you’ll pay to have a power shower installed will depend on the exact nature of your job. Installing a brand-new power shower from scratch is likely to cost around £500. Replacing an existing shower will bring the price down, as pipes and electrical circuits can possibly be reused. Swapping out a shower may only cost between £150-£300.
How to install a power shower
While every job is unique, installing a power shower usually follows the same five-step process.
- First things first – the electricity gets turned off. Your tradesperson can then position and fix the shower unit to the desired location on your wall, marking the points for copper pipes and electrical cables.
- The second step is another safety-conscious one. When connecting the power supply, they’ll bury the electrical cables into the wall – in the middle of the shower unit, either vertically or horizontally (depending on the direction they need to go). As we’ve mentioned, your professional will probably recommend creating a dedicated circuit for the shower, unless one already exists.
- Next, they’ll drill any necessary holes required to connect the water supply. After that, they’ll turn the mains water supply stopcock off and run the cold water tap dry, before connecting a copper pipe to the rising main.
- Now it’s time to reconnect the remaining pipework for your shower. When it comes to that copper pipe, it’s a good idea to install a stop valve so you can quickly turn off the water to make repairs in the future.
- Finally, check there are no leaks. And provided everything is working as expected, you’re all set to enjoy your new power shower.
Can you install a power shower with a combi boiler?
In short, the answer is no – sadly you can’t. Combi boilers won’t work with a power shower because they heat the water as it flows through the system. And if the water is pumped through the boiler faster, it doesn’t have time to heat up the flow.
At its most basic, all a power shower consists of is a pump to speed up the flow of water and a valve to control its temperature. That means power showers can be used with low-pressure hot and cold water or gravity-fed setups, but not combination boilers or high-pressure systems.
The qualifications your tradesperson needs
While installing a power shower is generally a simple job, your installer will need to be NICEIC registered (National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting) to work on the necessary electrical elements and sign the work off for building compliance.
While they won’t necessarily be touching the boiler or gas pipes, it’s certainly a bonus if they hold Gas Safe accreditation too. This isn’t mandatory when it comes to installing your power shower though – merely an additional benefit.
Finally, your tradesperson should be able to offer you evidence of their track record, including their experience and a number of customer references.
Insurance your tradesperson needs
Leaking water or faulty electrics are never a good mix. And even the most competent tradesperson can be thwarted by unforeseen plumbing or electrical issues. So, make sure your professional holds public liability insurance and you’ll have peace of mind that you’re protected against any accidental damage.
Questions you should ask your tradesperson
- Are they NICEIC registered?
- What type of power shower system will work most effectively in your home?
- Can they supply and fit the shower?
- Will they offer a warranty or guarantee on their work (and the shower, if they’re suppling it)?